Tipples that tip the scales

Having your go-to drinks at a bar is essential to turning the place into your regular haunt. But sometimes, it's simply refreshing to change things up and try new creations from your favourite joints and see what fanciful new thing they have come up with. Check out these following five familiar names in the bar scene that are now shaking things up with brand new offerings.
 

Alleybar


Milk clarification is the name of the game with Alleybar's new drinks. If you've been following their evolution the past few years, you'll know that they've really been upping their craft cocktail chops. Signature drinks like their tea-infused Lapsang Souchong and the potent Rickshaw Redemption Sazerac are case in point, granting us elevated drinks worth appreciating sip by sip.

Adding to the cocktail menu are three new concoctions, all $20, each made using the age-old method of milk clarification. There's the Invisible Sling, their take on the iconic Singapore Sling, that is in our opinion, much better than the classic. Like all clarified drinks, it's almost fully transparent. But it's the taste—fruity, rounded and punchy—that got us hooked. Our favourite has got to be the Ghosted Colada though, a clarified version of the Pina Colada that has been given a local spin. Bursting with pandan and toasted coconut aromas, yet tasting balanced and smooth, this is one drink we'll be coming back for again and again.
 

Caffe Fernet


Whether you're here for the drinks or the food (the new Tonnarelli Vongole, $29, is to die for), this bayside joint by the Jigger & Pony Group will satisfy you on both counts. But with their sister bar, the eponymous Jigger & Pony (they won top spot on Asia's 50 Best Bars 2020) being a renowned name in the cocktail scene, we're really more excited about their drinks, and their new bar programme doesn't disappoint.

They're staying true to their roots here and bringing us an experience inspired by Italy's neighborhood bars, offering drinks like the Sicilian Spritz ($17; $78 for pitcher). This spin on the classic Aperol Spritz will play savoury, herbal and bitter notes on your tongue, and is a great first drink to have. But definitely move on to the Negronis at some point in the night. They have four to choose from, and the Secco ($22; Tanqueray Gin, Mulassano Bitter, Cocchi Torino) and Vecchio ($23; Koskue Gin, Campari, Mancino Rosso) are the winners in our books. They may just be different takes on the bitter classic, but for Negroni lovers, the subtle differences are what makes them so interesting to ponder about.
 

Ginett


They may be known for their wines, but hotspot Ginett at Hotel G has now upped their cocktail game with the launch of their new drink offerings. Just in time too, with all you staycationers flocking to the highly-Instagrammable venue for your weekend jaunts in town. So definitely still come for the value-for-money wines, but now stay for the cocktails as well. There are seven to tickle your fancy.

For those who love things with a local twist, have a sip of their Kaya Crackers, a bourbon-based drink that will have you reminiscing of the titular cream biscuit snack thanks to notes of pandan and tea. Or get the popular Yuza-Razu, a light and refreshing gin-based drink bursting with piquant citrus and honey sweetness. The adventurous among you can opt for Some Like It Hot, a tequila cocktail with a jalapeno spice kick balanced with the fresh taste of cucumbers. All cocktails go for just $18.
 

Junior The Pocket Bar


Stepping into their newfound digs at Ann Siang, you'll be forgiven if you think you've teleported to their old haunt on the back alley of Cook Street. Still sporting their last theme, washi, Junior looks and feels very much the same as always (in a good way), albeit now roughly at least doubling in size compared to their former space (it now sits 25 people). Regulars will feel right at home here, with more legroom to boot.

Their menu is an update of its former. Find old favourites and new additions alike, with their new Homebrew & Highballs section set to remain a staple of the bar even as Junior changes its theme (they are known to introduce a new theme and menu every six months or so). Find low-concept, flavour-forward house fermented cocktails in this range, such as the refreshing and saline Lacto Lime Soda ($21). Their core menu also features a new Eat The Rich section featuring culinary cocktails that are always paired with a boujee small bite. Try the Tiny Bubbles ($28) for a champagne and Chartreuse concoction best had while nibbling on the accompanying chocolate strawberry.
 

Manhattan


Leave it to Manhattan to amaze us with drinks so stellar and so on point with their running concept. In their latest and third iteration of their menu, find an offering that still revolves around New York City, but this time, centered around its larger-than-life personalities. Inspiring the bar team are legends the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Ella Fitzgerald, Elleanor Roosevelt, Robert Downey Jr., The Ramones and Vera Wang. Altogether, find 18 new cocktails and six zero proof beverages in their completely new lineup of drinks.

It's a big menu, but there were definitely a few standouts for us. The Milkorno ($26), served with a baby corn garnish, is one truly unique creation. It's made with mezcal, bourbon, plus a corn and smoked pepper milk punch that tastes at-once nourishing (true to its name) and elevated. Definitely try the Cigarette Break ($26) too. Served with an edible paper garnish resembling a lit cigarette, this lush drink is one for the smoky whisky and coffee lovers. We also loved the Apollo ($27), an elegant, potent tipple of dark rum and peaty whisky that drinks silky smooth. Don't leave without having the 3000 ($26), named after the "I love you 3000" line from Avengers Endgame, that's actually a hot and creamy drink as heartwarming as the famed scene it's named after.